Tommy Langford had it all set out when he won the British title at middleweight. A fight with Avtandil Khurtsidze would have put him in the running to face Billy Joe Saunders but it was just not meant to be.
Two years on from that loss to Khurtsidze and Langford looks to get back in the mix.
“You can’t look past fights. I’ve learned my lessons from that in the past. The only thing is to win this fight and then there’s another good fight,” Langford exclusively told World Boxing News.
“That’s the plan and that’s all there is really. All I see is this fight. Then whatever comes after that comes after that but until April 27th that’s it really.”
Fighting Lerrone Richards with a world ranking on the table, Langford could regain his position and challenge for a world title this year, if all goes well.
“The world ranking is a big thing, obviously the Commonwealth title is great. British titles are amazing but you get in those world rankings and hopefully you’ll get given a chance.”
Langford found himself fighting three British title fights in 2018. Losing the latter two to Jason Welborn via split decision.
Welborn capitalised on his British title wins by challenging Jarrett Hurd for the unified 154 titles.
Langford knows what’s at stake if successful from those past experiences.
“Look at the fights I’ve lost,” he continued. “I mean even though I don’t think I lost to Welborn, in regards to that he got the decision. He went to fight for a world title off the back of beating me.”
“I lost to that Khurtsidze, but on the back of that he was world champion really, the interim WBO – but he was a world champion.”
Reflecting on his losses, Langford now aims for bigger things. A world title around his waist is possible by the end of the year.
“I feel like I get the win, I wanna push on and I want to have my stab at a world title. I really want to go in there and mix with some of the top boys and see what I’ve got.” He said.
Moving up to 168 pounds was expected for the large frame of Langford and should sit well with him. Speaking about his move up, he told WBN: “I feel a lot better at the new weight.
“I was killing myself to make middleweight but when you’re a champion at the weight, that’s where the paydays are so you’ve just got to keep doing what you’ve got to do to make that weight.”
After the Khurtsidze loss, Langford found himself in an odd position. Remaining the British champion but more than ready to perform above that level.
He decided to keep his champion status rather than move up in weight then and pursued the domestic fights against Jack Arnfield and Jason Welborn.
“To keep getting those fights, there was no option really. In hindsight, it would have been better for me to move up maybe a year and two months earlier than I did.
“When you’re British champion and all the rest of it and challenging for titles, you do everything you’ve got to do to maintain that weight but it’s taken a lot out of me in physical terms.
“I always boxed alright but there was things missing on fight night because of making the weight.”
Langford and Welborn put on two fantastic fights but Langford receiving the loss in both fights must move on.
His next fight against Lerrone Richards shows some promise for the 29 year old with the WBO ranking, potentially leading to a fight with Billy Joe Saunders.
When asked by WBN if that is on his radar, he said: “The fight that is on my radar is Lerrone Richards. I really can’t tell you what’s after that. But if the fight got offered and it has been offered to me before a few times, I’ve always said yes.”
“Nothing will change this time round. But whether that’s something that can happen is up in the air. You can’t predict boxing, I’ve just got to go about my business on the 27th and get the win.”
Frank Warren, promoter of both Billy Joe Saunders and Tommy Langford planned to put the two in a domestic world title fight.
The loss against Khurtsidze in 2017 meant that the Georgian took his spot before getting arrested for multiple gang-related crimes.
Now both men, still under the same promotional banner, have moved up in weight. They fight for titles in the same organization.
Langford is optimistic a future fight with Saunders can come to fruition.
“Well yeah I hope so. All I’ve got to do is worry about myself. Do the business and then everything else takes care of itself,” concluded the super-middleweight.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller